Athletes will have the choice between an “I Run Clean” bib or a neutral one when competing at the European Cross Country Championships in Hyères

Athletes competing at this weekend’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Hyères will be invited to wear an “I Run Clean” message on their bibs to show their commitment to a doping-free sport.

European Athletics hopes athletes and fans will also share and promote the anti-doping message on social media using the hashtag #irunclean.

The governing body announced that its president, Svein Arne Hansen, will inform all teams of the initiative at the event’s technical meeting on Saturday (December 12) ahead of the races on Sunday. The athletes will have the choice between the “I Run Clean” bib or a neutral one.

“We want our participating athletes to reassure those watching at the course and at home that they are competing without resorting to doping,” said Hansen.

“We also want our athletes to encourage aspiring athletes to adopt a clean approach to sports through wearing these bibs and by positing their commitment to a doping-free career through our #irunclean social media campaign.”

He added: “Our anti-doping education programme was one of the central elements of last summer’s under-23 championships in Tallinn and junior championships in Eskilstuna, and this initiative is an extension of this.”

The bibs will carry the words “I Run Clean” under the names of each participating athlete.

The #irunclean initiative follows International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach’s call yesterday for sports organisations to do more to renew trust in sport.

“We must do everything we can to protect the millions of clean athletes around the world,” Bach said. “For their sake and for the credibility of sports competition, they have to be protected from doping and corrupting influences.”